Originally posted on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 12/20/12
The Bengals could lock up a wildcard position in this year's playoffs with a win Sunday against the Steelers. Meanwhile, the Steelers could all but lock up a wildcard position by beating the Bengals. In short, the 6th seed in the AFC playoffs will likely be decided this weekend. While the Steelers trail the Bengals in the wildcard race by one game, they aren't in a powerless position. The Steelers beat the Bengals in their first meeting this season, giving the Steelers the potential tie-breaker if they win on Sunday. The other point to consider is that the Bengals play the Ravens in week 17, while the Steelers play the Browns. Although Cleveland beat Pittsburgh in week 12, don't expect it to happen again. With the last wildcard spot in the AFC likely being decided this weekend, the bulk of the pressure will fall on the two quarterbacks. Andy Dalton shocked everyone by proving to be the most pro-ready quarterback in last year's draft. On the other sideline, Ben Roethlisberger has won a pair of Super Bowls out of his three Super Sunday appearances, and he's widely considered one of the league's best quarterbacks. Advantage Pittsburgh. The Bengals will need a variety of facets of Sunday's game to fall in their favor if they have any hope of beating the Steelers. They have to be able to control turnovers. The Steelers haven't been taking the ball away much of late, but it only takes one or two big plays from that defense to blow the game wide open. The Bengals will also need to contain Ben Roethlisberger. My theory with Roethlisberger has always been one of containment, not complete prevention. When you try to outright prevent Roethlisberger from making plays, you tend to miss something, giving up one or two massive plays. By containing him to the pocket, you limit those opportunities, and you give your secondary a chance to make plays. Big games are what the Steelers play for. They're almost always in a position to make the postseason, and that's the case because they make big plays when it matters most. That's the type of football you can expect from Pittsburgh on Sunday, and that's the type of football the Bengals will have to be able to match to knock off the Steelers. Look, this is very nearly a de-facto playoff game, and it's the best matchup for my money on this weekend's slate of games. [follow]
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jerry Jones: It might be too late for Cowboys to save season

Steve Spurrier clarifies he's 'resigning, not retiring'

Report: EJ Manuel could start Sunday for Tyrod Taylor

Marcell Dareus paid for 400 tickets to Bills game

South Carolina names Shawn Elliott interim head coach

LeBron James on Cavs’ 0-3 preseason: ‘It’s not frustrating’


Report: Panthers LB Luke Kuechly cleared to practice

Report: Julio Jones may not play against Saints

What’s happened to Matthew Stafford?

Mike Tomlin explains gutsy late call with ‘Godfather’ reference

Sean Payton responds to rumors he might leave the Saints

NFL denies DeAngelo Williams’ request to wear pink all season

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five fantasy things we learned from every NFL Week 5 game

Steve Spurrier: An American original

How the Royals cheated death

Citi Field gave Chase Utley chilly reception

Mike Moustakas fired up Royals with expletive-laced speech

Clayton Kershaw: MLB "bullied" into Chase Utley suspension

Michael Jordan really likes Jeremy Lin

Texas governor makes embarrassing Astros flub

Ruben Amaro Jr. looking to become MLB manager

Steve Sarkisian fired by USC

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker